Ye Gods, another bad experience with Intuit's ProSeries!
I don't know who gave Intuit's ProSeries a 5-star rating because I give it a 0-star rating. In fact, in my opinion, it sucks!
I have great difficulty finding input sheets in ProSeries. Unlike Lacerte, that has a very helpful table of contents, ProSeries leaves it to the user to find its entry sheets: good luck. Better round up a posse to help you find what you want. I've spent needless, unbillable hours trying to find the place where I can enter the information.
And it's feature, "Where Do I Enter", to assist the tax preparer with data entry appears only to apply to Federal Form 1040, since whenever I have attempted to use it for Form 1120, 1120S, 1065, etc., and for state tax forms, ProSeries informs me that it's unavailable for these forms. So if you're looking for the input sheet and fields in ProSeries, lots of luck, pal. Go fish!
And today when I printed out California's Form 540NR, California Resident or Part-Year Resident Income Tax Return, I discovered to my embarrassment and chastisement from my client that my electronic signature on page 3 was illegible: it overwrote the form's caption line containing "Firm's name" and "Firm's address". When I called Intuit's ProSeries, I was placed on hold for what seemed an eternity, then someone in its tech department spent considerable time remotely accessing my computer to understand my problem and attempt to correct it. And then when that failed after another period of time seeming like another eternity, I was transferred to the tax department, who informed me that there was nothing I could do but remove the electronic signature.
The individual in Intuit's tax department admitted that it was a defect in ProSeries and said that it was never picked up until my call since not many California Form 540NR's are filed. Right!
Also, when I attempted to print a tax return on May 30th, I was unable: Intuit’s pay-per-return was down. I lost a client over that, since the client came to pick up his tax return and I thought there would not be a problem printing the return. Thanks, Intuit. Needless to say, its call center and customer service were unavailable, too. Perhaps if its server is going to be down, Intuit should have had someone on call to handle its software issues?! That's poor service.
Moreover, ProSeries "Review" feature is of little assistance, if any, in diagnosing the correct preparation of a tax return. Unlike the diagnosis feature of Lacerte prior to Intuit's acquisition, it is pretty much limited to just highlighting areas where you entered data and the program undertook calculations. In my opinion, it is a complete waste of one's time. I no longer bother using that feature.
Of course, Intuit is always trying to find an extra to bill you for. For instance, a relatively new option, "Productivity Click", bangs you an extra $5 per return if you wish to have some sort of tax research support when preparing a tax return, as well as tax import and employer forms features. If you prepare a number of tax returns, this can add up to be an expensive option. My advice is save your money or invest in a reputable tax resource library.
In addition, I feel as if I am getting banged hard with Intuit's pay-per-return policy. That takes a big bite out of one's tax preparer fee. Plus Intuit charges an annual fee as well of nearly $300.
If anyone knows of a better tax software at an affordable price, please let me know. I've had it with ProSeries. Do you think ProSeries offered me a refund for the cost of that California tax return since it has a defect? Not a chance! Do you think that I ever received a free copy of QuickBooks for all of the clients I brought to Intuit to use QuickBooks? Are you on drugs? Intuit sucks!
The Barefoot Accountant—is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Berlin, Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford, Connecticut, LLC. Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky, and is certified to teach trade-related subjects at Connecticut Vocational Technical Schools. His articles on tax and accounting have been published in several professional journals as well as on several accounting websites. William was born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, and served on the City's Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission. Bill is a crazed animal lover, feeding birds, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, possums, stray cats, and any two-legged or four-legged critter traversing through his yard. His backyard in Berlin, Connecticut has been certified as a habitat suitable for wildlife by the National Wildlife Federation.
Bill also writes an Accounting, QuickBooks, and Tax blog: Accounting, QuickBooks, and Taxes by the Barefoot Accountant. For entertaining articles, please see his listing at The Amazing Brighenti.